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Hopelessly Spiraling Downward

It’s hard to believe it’s been over 18 months since my last post.  My how my life have made some radical changes in such as short period of time.  My last post talked about my son in his senior year in high school.  Little did I know that boy would end up joining the Navy like his big sister, Katie.  So now I proudly have two sailors in the family.  I’m sure you will hear more about them and their eldest sister, Brittany and her husband, Adrian.  I can’t help talk about my kids… they are my pride and joy.

2015 saw a lot of changes for me including some time management challenges that really hurt my running.  We’ve been working on building a new church since late-2013, so every single Saturday (and a lot of evenings after work) was spent working on the building.  It cut into my running time a lot and kept me from enjoying a lot of Saturday races.

Then, in June 2015, I enrolled in Northcentral University and started on my Doctorate of Business Administration.  I had forgotten just how much time one had to devote to research, reading and writing when pursuing a graduate degree, but I was quickly reminded early in the first class.  Unfortunately, it absolutely demolished my running time.  I had also started lifting weights with some co-workers three mornings a week to add to my running training.  However, the late nights studying and writing research papers left me too exhausted to get up at 5:00am for the early morning lifts or runs.

To add to the mix, working 45+ hours a week at a stressful job didn’t help.  And then I faced the heartbreaking challenges of having one sailor deployed for over nine months and traveling around the world on the aircraft carrier, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, and my other sailor (my baby and only son) leave for Navy boot camp and being away from home for longest stretch of his young life.

So I watched my workouts slowly fade.  I went from running 100-mile months to almost no miles at all…. to running 15-mile long runs on Sunday to being lucky if I could get in at least one short 2-miler during the week.  Lifting became non existent.  I lost all my muscle tone, strength and endurance.  I quickly lost weight from the loss of muscle, but then started to watch the scales go back up as the tummy fat took over.  My diet consisted of overeating of junk food filled with fat and calories, and worst of all…. I had started smoking again.  I was exhausted, both physically and mentally.  I was unhappy in my skin and did not like the person, both the flabby physique and poor attitude, that kept looking back at me in the mirror.  I looked into eyes of disgust, frustration and defeat.  I was hopelessly spiraling downward quickly.

Arrow-Blue-20I knew I had to make changes, so I set out to re-evaluate my training, my mind, my life and my soul.  Something had to change if I were to get myself back on track.  I felt like I was in one of those dreams where you’re running as hard and as fast as you can, but you realize you’re actually running in slow motion….. feeling like you’re running in water…. and getting nowhere fast.  I was slowly dying inside in more ways than one.  I felt lost on the trail with no hope of ever making it to the finish line.  Something had to change… and it had to change quickly.

Have you ever felt like you were in that running dream…. heavy, slow and motionless??  When too many things were crashing down on you and you couldn’t run away??

How did you handle it?  My next post will share some of the things I did to pull myself back up, straighten out my life and get back to doing what I loved to do….. run.

Check back in soon to read my resolutions.  Until then…. enjoy the run!!